The Cata-LIST for Agency New Business?


Of the eleven categories new business tools rated by 200 agency executives nationwide in the Mirren – RSW/US 2016 New Business Tools Report, only one exhibited growth over 2015: Prospect Contact/List Building Software.


list building history


Seeing growth in this category is both encouraging and puzzling.

It’s encouraging, as it suggests agencies are increasingly cognizant of how important a solid list is to their new business program.

The puzzling aspect is that this still seems to be an underdeveloped category of new business tools.

Based on the reported usage, just 48% of agencies indicate using list-building tools in support of their agency new business program.

Building targeted, accurate lists is a time-consuming process – as well as an on-going one.

In this article from B2C (Business2Community), It Started With a List – The Importance of Prospect Lists for Business Growth., the number one “tip” for building a list is actually a key reason:

“As with all things, planning and preparation is the best way to ensure that the rest of your activities are successful. Building your list is part of that planning and prep’ so that you know Who you want to talk to and Why.”



Getting the most out of your new business program takes a solid strategic approach, and developing an accurate list reflecting that strategy goes a long way to generating the results you want.

Creating this list is certainly about making contact with the prospects you want to reach.  It’s also foundational to developing relationships with them, tracking progress along the way.

Looking at the survey question about use of Prospect Contact/List Building Software, what is curious is the 52% of agency respondents who say they do not use tools in this category.

Without a solid list, how can you know you are connecting with the right contacts?   How can you prioritize and manage continuing communications with contacts?

A Strategic Must

Considering other tools rated in the Mirren – RSW/US 2016 New Business Tools Report, such as CRM Software, eMail Marketing Services, Marketing Automation Platforms, and others, the strength and accuracy of your prospect list determines the results you see from them as well.

If you take shortcuts in developing your lists, it will show up as less than optimal results for your new business program overall.    Make your list a top on-going priority.

Mark is a 30-year veteran of the consumer packaged goods, advertising, and marketing service industry. Mark started his career at DDB Needham in Chicago prior to earning his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Business School at Northwestern where he majored in Marketing and Economics. Prior to starting RSW/US in 2005, Mark was General Manager for AcuPOLL, a global research consultancy. Sneider worked in Marketing for S.C. Johnson and KAO Brands. Sneider has been invited to speak at numerous Agency events and network conferences domestically and internationally including the 4A’s, Magnet, NAMA, TAAN, and MCAN. Sneider has been featured in prominent industry publications including Adweek, Media Post, e-Marketer, and Forbes. When not working (which often seems like not often), Mark likes to run miles, go to church, and just chill with a hard copy issue of Fast Company.